Thursday, 27 September 2012
Dover Castle as featured in A Summer Siege
A Summer Siege is primarily set in Dover Castle. In 1216 the castle was laid to siege by the French and the English held out against incredible odds. The bravery and determination of these men was incredible. Chronicles suggest they were outnumbered by at least 10 to 1.
The story of the siege totally captured my imagination and, with the knowledge that I wanted to write about a strong woman, I decided to create a story around it. A Summer Siege is a love story at it's heart but it was fun to combine the historical events with the story of Madeline and Tristan.
Dover Castle is extensive and a remarkable castle and cost a small fortune. It was well defended with its two curtain walls and it even had a drawbridge inside the main keep, in case invaders managed to breach the walls. It was also extremely luxurious and King Henry often entertained visitors there. The only weakness was the North Gate, which was taken by Prince Louis in the siege. Against all odds the men defending the castle held back the invaders and managed to seal the breech with timbers torn from the innards of the castle. Following the siege, improvements were made to the castle so that it could not happen again.
The story of the First Baron's War is actually briefly covered in the 2010 film Robin Hood. Though not particularly historically accurate, it does document the baron's discontent with the rule of King John quite well.
Recently the inside of the Great Tower was restored and furnished. Next week I'll be sharing some pictures of some of the rooms that I used in the story.
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The country is torn apart by a rebellion as the French invade. Reunited after five years, Madeline and Tristan find themselves caught up in the war and in a fight to save their love.
Tristan is thrilled when the girl that he has loved, and missed, for five years returns to him, but the time apart has changed Madeline and she feels herself incapable of depending upon another. Can Tristan convince her otherwise?
As the French close in upon them, Madeline has to summon the courage to fight for her home, her country and for a love lost. Will she succeed or will their love and lives become another casualty of the rebellion?
*Images courtesy of English Heritage and Visit Kent